Quick and easy pickled red cabbage, made with just a handful of simple ingredients and NO sugar. It adds beautiful acid and brightness to your favorite dishes, and it’s Whole30 and Low Carb!
Move over sauerkraut, pickled red cabbage is the new “it” cabbage! Why, you ask? Well, pickled cabbage has a tangy, bright flavor, lots of crisp, and it’s just so easy to make! Best of all, you only need a couple of ingredients to make it!
And can we talk about that gorgeous color? When you add anything acidic to red cabbage, like the apple cider vinegar and lime juice in this recipe, it turns a beautiful, deep bright purple color. It adds a stunning pop to any plate!
I’d say this cabbage is my favorite Whole30 condiment, tied with my sugar free pickled onions. I eat it with eggs, lettuce wraps, tacos, and more!
- Red Cabbage, otherwise known as purple cabbage (the terms can be used interchangeably). The color can vary based on the acidity of the soil it grows in, but it’s the same vegetable regardless of whether it’s more purple or more red.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lime juice, preferably freshly squeezed. Lime juice is the key to balancing the sour vinegar flavor without the need for adding sugar. If you don’t have a lime handy, you can substitute lemon.
- 1/2 thinly sliced jalapeño. This is one of my favorite additions! Adding just a touch of lightly spicy jalapeño gives the cabbage a nice kick.
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns.
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds.
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Step by Step Instructions
Making pickled red cabbage is an unbelievably simple process. Follow the steps below!
Prepare the Cabbage. First, slice the cabbage in half and cut away the large stem. Use a mandolin, sharp knife, or food processor set to shred to thinly slice the cabbage.
The thickness can vary based on your preference, but I like to shred it very finely, so the thinner the better in my book! If you like it cut a little thicker or chunkier, go right ahead! Set the cabbage in a bowl.
Heat the vinegar, lime juice, water, salt, garlic, and jalapeño (if using) in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove it from the heat.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage. Stir it gently so the vinegar coats the cabbage. Set it aside on the countertop until cooled, about 1-2 hours.
Last, transfer the mixture to a glass jar or bowl, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
Definitely! Cabbage contains vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, potassium, and more! I recommend using a raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s), so you also get the benefits of the probiotics in the vinegar. This recipe uses no added sugars or sugar substitutes, and instead is lightly sweetened using all natural lime juice. It does contain salt, so if you’re watching your sodium, be mindful of that.
No. Pickled cabbage is not the same as sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is made from cabbage that goes through a fermentation process, which will kill bacteria and preserve the cabbage for a longer period of time. Pickled cabbage only pickles, or salt brines, the cabbage.
Transfer the pickled cabbage to a mason jar or other glass container. Cover and set in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
NO! The only benefit to boiling the vinegar first is saving time. To skip that step, pour the liquids and seasonings onto the cabbage, then simply stir, cover, and set in the refrigerator overnight. It’ll take about 12 hours, but it will yield the exact same result – pickled cabbage!
What to serve with pickled cabbage
Pickled cabbage is wonderful with pretty much any protein, at any time of day! Serve it with scrambled eggs or simple grilled chicken, and on salads or wraps. I like to serve it with fish tacos, pork lettuce wraps, and anything spicy.
Making this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Pickled Red Cabbage – Sugar Free, Whole30
- Sharp Knife
- 1/2 small purple cabbage about 4 cups once shredded
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice, from about 1 large or 2 small limes
- 1 salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cut the cabbage in half and cut away the large stem. Use a mandolin, sharp knife, or food processor set to shred to thinly slice the cabbage. Transfer the cabbage to a large bowl.
- Heat the vinegar, lime juice, water, salt, garlic, and jalapeño or any optional ingredients (if using) in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove it from the heat. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage. Stir it gently so the vinegar coats the cabbage. Set the bowl aside on the countertop until cooled, about 1-2 hours.
- Last, transfer the mixture to a glass jar or bowl, cover, and store in the refrigerator.